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February 1953 E-854 

United States Department of Agriculture 

Agricultural Research Administration 

Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine 



TESTS OF SEVERAL INSECTICIDES FOR THE CONTROL 
OF RESISTANT HOUSE FLIES^ 

H. G. Wilson, R. S. Anders, and C. N. Husman?/ 
Division of Insects Affecting Man and Animals 



Early in 1949 studies at the Orlando, Fla., laboratory of the Bureau 
of Entomology and Plant Quarantine showed that residual treatments of 
DDT and methoxychlor were no longer effective in controlling house 
flies (Musca domestica L.) in dairy barns (Gilbert, Wilson, and Coarsey 1), 
Laboratory tests with the flies from the dairies indicated that the ineffec- 
tiveness of the treatn ents was due to their increased resistance to these 
insecticides. In subsequent tests these resistant strains of flies were 
controlled satisfactorily with residual applications of chlordane, lindane, 
or dieldrin, and also by frequent space spraying with lindane, dieldrin, 
or pyrethrun. plus piperonyl butoxide. At the end of 1949, therefore, 
there was no great concern over the control of DDT-resistant house 
flies. 

Early in 1950 residue tests in barns were started with the insecti- 
cides that had given satisfactory control of flies in 1949, as well as 
with toxaphene, heptachlor, and a new material, CS-708. At first 
most of the treatments were moderately to highly effective, but as the 
season advanced all declined in effectiveness and by late summer none 
provided satisfactory control. 

Extensive tests in dairy barns were also made in 1950 with space 
sprays of lindane, dieldrin, allethrin, and pyrethrum. Lindane and 
pyrethrum plus piperonyl butoxide each gave control of flies in one 
barn, but elsewhere all the materials gave generally poor results. 



1_/ This work was conducted under funds allotted by the Department 
of the Army to the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. 

2/ The writers acknowledge the assistance of W. V. King and 
W. C. McDuffie, under whose supervision this work was done, and 
also of A. A. Whipp, of the California Spray-Chemical Corporation, 
in conducting the residue phase of these studies and furnishing the 
lindane formulations. 



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Iual- and : DDT and lindane, 

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against the hi^ sistant flies in several local dairy bar -re D. 

an< lorinated hydrocarbon ins- ies had been used for ar 

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Applications were made at the uniform rate of 1 gallon of spray per 
1,000 square feet, the concentration being varied to give the desired 
dosages per square foot. Sprays were applied at close range with a 
power sprayer at a pressure of about 75 pounds per square inch. All 
treatments were applied as emulsions except the methoxychlor-lindane 
combination, which was a wettable-powder suspension. 

Estimates of fly populations were made in each barn at least 2 days 
before treatment and at various intervals thereafter to determine the 
effect of the treatments. The estimates were based on counts of flies 
alighting on hardware cloth laid over two petri dishes containing equal 
parts of malt extract and water as an attractant. Several counts were 
taken at three locations in each barn, the flies being disturbed after 
each count. Results of the tests are given in table 1. 

Lindane alone gave excellent immediate reductions in two dairies 
but was relatively ineffective in two others. Three of these dairies 
showed poor control after 3 days, but the fourth exhibited good control 
at both the 3- and 7-day counts. Lindane with synergist RE-1901 gave 
better immediate control than lindane alone, but none of the treatments 
were highly effective for more than 1 week. In one dairy the treatment 
remained fairly effective through 2 weeks, but a second application 
failed after 1 week. In another barn a second treatment showed im- 
mediate results considerably better than the first, but was effective 
for only 1 week. The special lindane formulation (RE-2035) was about 
as effective as the best treatment of lindane alone. 

The mixture of methoxychlor and lindane was about equal to lindane 
alone. Two of three applications gave good immediate control, but 
neither was satisfactory after 3 or 7 days. 

In one test DDT alone gave relatively poor immediate control and 
was completely ineffective thereafter. In two of three tests DDT plus 
a synergist gave better immediate control than DDT alone, but control 
after 3 days was unsatisfactory. The same synergist with toxaphene 
was relatively ineffective. 

Treatment of Premises 

Following the failure, in 1950, of both residual and space-spray 
treatments of various insecticides to control house flies, a series of 
tests were made to determine whether satisfactory control could be 
obtained by spraying the barns and premises, usually an area of about 
2 acres, with the same insecticides. The sprays were dispersed inside 
and outside of all buildings and over the barnyards, with a Microsol 
sprayer mounted on a jeep. Usually the quantity of spray required was 
the same (3 to 5 gallons) as that for a residual treatment inside the barn. 
Treatments were made every 3 to 7 days for 1 to 9 weeks at six dairies, 
with oil solutions of chlordane, lindane, DDT, and methoxychlor. 






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Most of the treatments, especially those with DDT plus methoxychlor, 
gave a rapid knock-down of flies, and satisfactory control of the existing 
adult fly population. The residual effect of the treatments was negligible, 
however, as flies became numerous again in a few days. It was therefore 
concluded that frequent spraying of premises had possibilities for control 
in situations where other methods are inadequate, but that such treatments 
would' be less practicable than residual or space spraying of the inside of 
barns. It was also concluded that improved premises sanitation would be 
necessary before dairymen could expect consistently satisfactory control 
of flies from any type of insecticide application. 

Additional premises-spraying tests were undertaken to compare the 
effectiveness of a number of insecticides alone and in combination with 
certain synergists. The materials tested included lindane alone and two 
commercial formulations of lindane, one containing synergist RE -1901 
and the other (RE -203 5) containing a trialkyl phosphate; DDT alone and 
with synergists l,l-bis(chlorophenyl)ethane (K-3926) and chloro- 
bis(p-chlorophenyl)methane (MR-60), and Santomerse DT (an N-alkylated 
alkylene polyamine), Lauseto Neu (chloromethyl p-chlorophenylsulfone); 
CS-708; and methoxychlor alone and with dimethyl phthalate. Lindane, 
with and without synergists, was tested in kerosene solutions and emul- 
sions, but all other materials only in emulsions. Applications were 
made in the same manner as in 1950, but with only about half the volume 
of spray. The reduction in volume was made possible by the use of a 
fine-mist spraying unit developed by C. N. Husman. The results of 
these tests are summarized in table 2. 

Emulsion sprays of lindane plus synergist RE- 1901 gave excellent 
control of house flies in all the dairies where they were applied. The 
first application reduced fly populations 40 to 90 percent, and after 
three to five applications at intervals of 2 to 3 days reductions of 90 to 
99 percent were obtained. These results and incidental observations 
indicated that the interval between treatments probably could be increased 
to at least 4 to 5 days, particularly after the first week. Emulsions of 
lindane alone gave good control in some dairies but only fair to poor con- 
trol in others. An emulsion of lindane formulation RE-2035 was ineffec- 
tive in one dairy. The kerosene solutions of lindane alone and with the 
two synergists failed to give satisfactory control in any dairy, and in 
most tests caused only negligible reductions in fly populations. The 
reason for the wide difference in the effectiveness of the solutions and 
emulsions was not determined. 

DDT showed little toxicity alone and was only slightly more effective 
when combined with Santomerse DT or K-3926. DDT plus synergist 
MR-60 gave good control in one dairy but was ineffective in another. 

Methoxychlor alone and combined with dimethyl phthalate, CS-708, 
and Lauseto Neu caused little or no reductions in existing fly populations 
and were totally lacking in residual toxicity (results not given in table). 



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The flies from all the dairies were slightly to highly resistant to 
lindane and highly resistant to DDT. Five of seven collections were 
more susceptible to the lindane -synergist residue than to lindane alone, 
but the other two were slightly more susceptible to lindane alone. All 
the collections were far more susceptible to the DDT-synergist than 
to DDT alone. In all cases, however, the LT-50 for the dairy flies 
exposed to the DDT-synergist was considerably greater than for the 
laboratory- colony flies, an indication that this combination would not 
give effective control of the DDT-resistant flies in the dairies. This 
was subsequently borne out by the failure of this combination to control 
flies in field trials. 

Neither synergist increased the effectiveness of the insecticide 
against laboratory colony flies. 

Summary 

In 1951 residual and space-spray tests were conducted in dairies to 
evaluate several chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides alone and in com- 
bination with certain synergists, for the control of resistant house flies 
( Musca domestica L.). All the materials tested were relatively ineffec- 
tive as residues, the longest period of control achieved being about 1 
week with an emulsion of lindane plus synergist RE-1901 (2-hydroxy- 
decachloro-4,7-methanoindane). The same material applied in emulsion 
form as a mist spray twice each week to dairy barns and adjacent 
grounds gave excellent control in every test and was superior to lindane 
alone. Kerosene solutions of lindane with and without synergists were 
relatively ineffective. Emulsions of toxaphene, methoxychlor, DDT, 
Lauseto Neu (chloromethyl p-chlorophenyl sulfone), and CS-708 failed 
to give satisfactory control. 

Literature Cited 

(1) Gilbert, I. H. , Wilson, H. G. , and Coarsey, J. M. 

1950. Control of house flies in barns with different insecticides. 
U. S. Bur. Ent. and Plant Quar. E-795, 11 pp. 



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